Someone has done us all a favor and animated Colin Trevorrow's abandoned script for Star Wars 9. Trevorrow, best known as the director of Jurassic World, was originally supposed to tackle Episode IX, but ultimately he parted ways with Lucasfilm over creative differences. That paved the way for J.J. Abrams to come in, who delivered us the divisive finale to this trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker. Now, Trevorrow's version has been brought to life through animation and it gives us a much better idea of what could have been.
Earlier this year, Colin Trevorrow's script for Episode IX leaked online. To say the least, this version is very different from what we got with The Rise of Skywalker. But that information has been used by YouTuber Mr. Sunday Movies to show us what might have happened in an alternate universe where Colin Trevorrow stayed on board. To help set things up, here is the opening crawl text that would have appeared in Duel of the Fates.
"The iron grip of the First Order has spread to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Only a few scattered planets remain unoccupied. Traitorous acts are punishable by death. Determined to suffocate a growing unrest, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren has silenced all communication between neighboring systems. Led by General Leia Organa, the Resistance has planned a secret mission to prevent their annihilation and forge a path to freedom..."
Duel of the Fates opens up with an ill-fated heist, with Rey coming to rescue Finn, Poe and Rose, who gets a lot more screen time in this version. They end up stealing a Star Destroyer. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren is hanging out on Mustafar at Vader's castle, while being haunted by the ghost of Luke Skywalker. The only appearance of Palpatine comes at this point via a Sith Holocron. The Emperor, in this version, is still very dead. But we do get to meet Master Tor Vallum, who was Palpatine's master.
Rey ends up training for Force ghost Luke, while Kylo trains with Tor Vallum. The Resistance still needs to bolster its forces, which they do with some old technology. Also of note, there is a hint of romance between Rey and Poe. There is a massive battle between the Resistance and the First Order on Coruscant, Rey and Kylo square off and Rey is blinded. Kylo ends up dying after a series of back and forth events, and Rey learns her real name. Hux dies. Lando still returns. It's a lot to process.
The Rise of Skywalker, divisive though it may be, earned more than $1 billion worldwide and was a financial win for the Star Wars franchise. It does, however, leave Lucasfilm between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the future of the series on the big screen, now that they're moving away from the Skywalker saga. Be sure to check out the video for yourself from the Mr. Sunday Movies YouTube channel.